Posted On: April 26, 2011 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Accident that Landed Amputee in Wheelchair in Lake Michigan

A Chicago wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against James Lacy. He is the man who was pushing 61-year-old Sarah Goenne in a wheelchair outside the Columbia Yacht Club on the night of April 8 when they both fell into Lake Michigan.

Goenne and Lacy, 59, were leaving a party at the club when the two accidentally fell into the water. Rescuers pulled both of them out at DuSable Harbor and they were transported to the hospital. Lacy has survived the incident, but Goenne died several days later.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office says that her cause of death was broncho-pneumonia and sepsis. The amputation of her right leg following a car crash and spina bifida were listed as secondary causes of death.

The Chicago wrongful death complaint accuses Lacy of failing to control the wheelchair and not keeping a proper lookout. The plaintiff, Martha Bante, is seeking over $50,000.

Cook County Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person dies and someone else was legally at fault. The person “at fault” doesn’t need to have intended to cause or directly cause the victim’s passing. There may be more than one party who should be held liable.

Also, the victim’s family may be able to claim economic damages (medical costs related to the death, funeral/burial/cremation expenses), loss of income/benefits/inheritance, and/or services), non-economic damages (survivors’ pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of love/society/companionship of the deceased, loss of protection/care/advice/guidance, nurturing/training from the deceased, and/or loss of consortium), and punitive damages.

Man Sued Over Lake Wheelchair Death, MyFoxChicago, April 18, 2011

Family sues wheelchair pusher in Lake Michigan death, ABC Local, April 19, 2011


Related Web Resources:
Wrongful Death Claims, Nolo

Illinois Wrongful Death Act, Illinois General Assembly


More Blog Posts:
Family Files Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chinese Restaurant After 7th Grader Suffers Fatal Peanut Allergy, Chicago Injury Attorney Blog, March 22, 2011

$10M Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against LeRoy Police Over Delay in Issuing Amber Alert Goes to Federal Court, Chicago Injury Attorney Blog, August 19, 2010

Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Teacher’s Drowning on the Vermillion River, Chicago Injury Attorney Blog, June 5, 2010

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